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Is My Gas Can OSHA-Compliant?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) 1926.152(a)(1) standard, “Only approved containers and portable tanks shall be used for storage and handling of flammable liquids.” This rule applies to flammable liquid quantities of five gallons or less. 

An approved safety can must meet the following criteria:

  • The container does not have a capacity greater than five gallons.
  • The container must have a flash-arresting screen. This prevents the fuel inside the can from combusting if exposed to fire. The flash-arresting screen extinguishes the fire, before it can reach the fuel. 
  • The container must have a spring-closing lid. The lid will close automatically when released. 
  • The container must have a spout cover that closes automatically.
  • The container must be designed to release minimal vapor and reduce pressure inside the can.
  • The container must contain the Department of Transportation approval label or be approved by a nationally recognized testing lab (i.e. FM, UL, etc.)


Additional Safe Gasoline Storage Practices

 Do not store flammable storage cans in areas such as exits, stairways, personnel passageways, and high-traffic areas.

  • Store flammable liquids in a cool, dry location.
  • Do not refill a container in or on a vehicle.
  • Fill containers to 95% to allow for expansion.
  • Ensure caps fit tightly.
  • Shut off engines when refueling equipment from a gas can.

Source: Joe Mlynek is president of Progressive Safety Services LLC, Gates Mills, OH;; and content creation expert for Safety Made Simple Inc., Olathe, KS;


This Safety Tip of the Week is sponsored by: LewisGoetz



This Safety Alert was published by Grain Journal, Decatur, IL ... 800-728-7511 ... website:

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Safety Tip of the Week is edited by Managing Editor Tucker Scharfenberg and published each Monday by Grain Journal, Decatur, IL

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